I have a slightly unhealthy obsession with a lot of things. Take, for example, Ben Gibbard, avocados, or last.fm. But also the smell of the sea, the Death is not Glamorous drummer and sending letters to strangers. Another thing I am OBSESSED with, and the degree of obsession is such that I would probably watch it every day if it was available on youtube or on tv, is the series of documentaries that Yann Arthus-Bertrand did for France 2 (a french channel) a few years back. I’ve seen all 9 episodes – some more than once, in fact – but they stopped showing them because, unlike me, not everyone enjoys watching the same documentary about the environmental impact of a city like Los Angeles or the burning of sugar cane fields to produce biological fuel over and over again. A few months ago – June 5th, 2009 – HOME was released. According to various statements made on press conferences, HOME was promising to be a documentary available to everyone practically for free; the movie was uploaded online, screenings were planned in some cities around the world for the day of the release – some of them free and some at a relatively lower price than for a normal cinema ticket. The point was to have as many people as possible watch that movie on the same day, at the same time (a similar concept to The Age of Stupid, coming out on September 21st/22nd this year).
I watched HOME for the second time two days ago, and though I really like the concept of the documentary (really beautiful images and an off-screen narrator telling the story of the Earth) we are given so much information that it’s difficult not to switch off after a while – or to keep forgetting what you’ve just heard when new information come along. Being a huge fan of Yann’s work – his photography, but especially the documentaries he was involved in where he mixed beautiful images with a really critical view on important environmental problems, often looking at all sides of each issue – I was a bit disappointed that so much of Home seemed to have been a bit shallow, less detailed as I would have liked it to be, and maybe even less touching than the documentary series Vu Du Ciel. However I find that, seen in its context, everyone should take the time to watch this and gain a little more understanding on how the world works.. Most people will take all this information for granted but it’s good to have your memory refreshed once in a while. The link to the full movie (93 minutes) is here. If you happen to speak french, watch the video below – it’s an extract from Yann’s wonderful Vu Du Ciel documentary series.